Video games have become to new socializing engine for friends and family to interact. You know, instead of going outside and whatnot. The popularity of games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft has players more anti-socially social than ever with crack laced online play. Even some titles known for their greatness on the single-player experience are adding co-op or multiplayer in new sequels. Sometimes though, with the advent of internet-based gaming, you just want to escape and play by yourself.
Game company Bethesda Softworks may have the antidote in The Elder’s Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, Xbox 360.) You’ve probably heard it has engendered Game of the Year co-signs everywhere and developed a few memes. But what’s with the hype? Is it really worth your hard earned crappy economy cash? Sixty bones is nothing to sneeze at so let’s see if Bethesda’s latest is money well spent.
Skyrim is an open-world RPG taking place in the bitter tundra of a fictional Viking-type fantasy world. Parallel with previous Elder’s Scroll titles, it involves magic, alchemy, epic armor, monsters and more right out of a medieval fairy tale. And for the first time, the series includes actual dragon battles. Yes. You get to fight f**king dragons. And once you kill them, you absorb their soul, taking in powerful dragon-shouting abilities. Your ultimate mission is to take out the random abundance of dragons appearing in Skyrim. That sounds like fun, right?
Well, It is.
The story revolves around your character who is the last of the dragonborn, beings who can speak the dragon language. The folklore’s prophecy says your purpose is to eliminate the dragons being risen from their graves. Your character goes through trials in defining and perfecting this skill while protecting kingdoms. Through this, you find out who’s causing for the dragons reappearing and ultimately defeat them. Skyrim’s main quest line is solid. It purposely leads you though your objectives with ease. And with the intriuging abundance of side quests, you want to search every corner of its world.
Bethesda’s attention to detail shines in Skyrim in every aspect. Its massive map and overwhelming level of content will keep you busy for hours. And actually, running through an unknown forest or random dungeon can be the most exciting part of the game. NPCs are more lively, the scenery is more realistic, and lighting and sound is perfect. Loading time seemed to very accepting considering the games size and the overall realism in your surroundings and animations are what makes these games fascinating. The presentation in Skyrim is a masterpiece.
But what about the gameplay? Well, Skyrim is built on a whole new engine. This makes for a new experience that is slightly different than previous Elder’s Scrolls release. You can actually battle in the third person view, which is a treat and a must when slaying those big ass dragons or going head-to-head with a squad of bandits 10 fools deep. The enemies are still powerful and engaging. Sometimes you will notice that kills and deaths will come cheaply. Then again finding danger when you least expect it keeps you on your toes.
You can now dual-wield magic and weapons. This means you make more powerful spells or attack with a sword and axe, instead of sword and shield. There seemed to be a basic number of spells and enchantment types but there seems to be arrows pointing at DLC to fill that void. You’ll build your character from the ground up, choosing a race and then many skills and even occupations as you progress. Casual gamers can skip occupations but you’d be missing out on easy and essential XP.
There are a few issues abound. Common complaints involve the menu’s new interface. Having going through a complete revamp, it’s a stiff and clunky. It can be difficult to manage your weapons and spells. Also fans seem to be frustrated with companions. They have a tendency to die easily making some of them useless.
Bethesda boasted the game has over 100 hours of gameplay. And with talks of DLC on the horizon, Skyrim could bring more hot pocket and energy drink filled weekends to those hardcare gamers. Some games lose their gusto because developers have to focus on single- and multi-player aspects of games. That fact has helped with Skyrim, as it’s an ideal single-player experience. Compared to all the other games I’ve played so far, Skyrim is top class and one of the best games I’ve picked up in some time. There’s no reason you shouldn’t experience what Skyrim has to offer.